TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The federal government is investigating Facebook's privacy settings. This is following a huge data gathering by a company without their consent.
Now that we know our private information is out there, what can be done to protect it moving forward?
After Cambridge Analytica released a report about the access of millions of Facebook user's data, people around the world were shocked to learn just how much of their information was stored by the social media network.
"I joined Facebook at a very young age, so when it was new, definitely I used to go and take every quiz," Computer Science Engineering graduate student at The University of Toledo Safia Rahmad said. "But, of course, not now."
She is okay with Facebook gathering most of her personal information, but would take issue with them gathering personal information from conversations she has in the Messenger app.
Praveen Damacharla is also a graduate student at UT studying Artificial Intelligence. He says, he has deactivated his account, but never deleted his data. He's using the Messenger app still as well.
"If I don't want it to get out, I won't ever put it out there," Damacharla explained why he hasn't deleted anything. "If we get ideas like new books or movies, that is good, but personality studies could be a concern. I always sign up for external apps with my email not Facebook so I can control that information."
Facebook has been gathering information on their users and socking it away since each account opened.
But, there is a way to determine what Facebook knows about you.
You can find out just how much of your personal information the company has by going to your Facebook settings and at the bottom clicking on "Download a copy of your Facebook data."
"You should always try to minimize the amount of information they're putting on Facebook," Dr. Ahmad Javaid, Assistant Professor of Cyber Security Engineering at The University of Toledo advised. "So, as an example, you don't need to put your phone out there for everyone to see, right? It doesn't require a phone number to make a profile. And then, a lot of things when you share. Let's say you post a picture of your family and things like that. You don't need to make it public. You can share with your 'only friends' and so on."
Dr. Javaid also recommends looking through your Facebook settings to see what apps you have enabled. Many can be deleted or restricted so that less personal information gets out.
Dr. Javaid also says while some information sharing to outside apps like Instagram is a part of daily life for many, in a perfect world, no apps would be enabled at all.
Well, of course, except for the WTOL news, weather and traffic apps.
Turning off the location tag for posts will up your privacy and help keep some of those specifically targeted ads from popping up as well.